What happened to the Spain where I was born?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of logan logan 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #56980
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I Interesting article in Der Speigel on how Spain has changed in the last 30 years, and it’s illusory years of wealth.

    A visit to Absurdistan

    I love this line “…. you can’t take an economy seriously when it’s based on sun and oranges and the overdevelopment of the Mediterranean coast”

  • #111358
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you posting that Mark. very sad & moving. I think of very many of my Spanish friends who are decent honest & hard working people. Who did not benefit from the gravy train and our niw paying the price.

  • #111360
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I think that line is so true Mark, and echoes partly what I’ve been on about for years on here, in particular the destruction of avocado farms etc and sliced off hill tops but replaced by ugly over-development, especially in the Southern Costas. Luckily the North of Spain is not so badly scarred as the South. 🙄

    This sort of development was not allowed to happen in Italy because of views being historic Roman views. 😛

  • #111361
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    especially when to develope you burn all your oranges.I use to love the drive from alicante down to calpe seeing the orange groves when when you knew you was on holiday.

  • #111366
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    What happened to Spain is the same as what happens to any person/country that gets showered with cheap handouts/easy credit. They become corrupted and adapt to living off the handouts/credit rather than earning them. The big mistake to make of course is to place all the blame on the country receiving all this cheap money rather than the people handing it out.

  • #111370
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Probably one of the best articles written about the situation in Spain.

  • #111375
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    An interesting article for sure.

    Just digressing and to show it’s not completely one sided (Spanish), we have just caught out our local District Council here in the UK whose main contractor having won a 10 year contract would you believe under ‘EU procurement laws’ has been committing what appears to be fraud with some of it’s contract with the Council who have not been checking up on them and because of this stupid EU rule the Council cannot claim a refund from the Contractor which probably goes back over a year in this case. They can issue a financial penalty based on our findings if they don’t do something they should (which they haven’t for over a year) in the next 6 hours, a pittance no doubt.

    It beggars belief folks, it goes on in the UK too, maybe not so large but bound by this stupid EU who’s overpaid numpties give orders to us 👿

    I hope the UK pulls out of this abysmal EU bureaucratic gravy train and tells Brussels where to stick it.

    No wonder, Spain got itself in such a mess, the contracts being handed out and back-handers must be eye watering, fraud on a massive scale 🙄

  • #111384
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spain is fast becoming a Third World country despite all the investment in high-speed rail and various road building programs. Spain’s economy is in reverse gear and the economic nightmare has only just begun as once Spain finally leaves the Euro and adopts the Peseta then all Hell is going to break loose resulting in a massive depreciation in the value of the Spanish currency leading to high inflation and stellar high interest rates that will force many Spanish people who have mortgages to no longer be able to keep up with the crippling mortgage costs as a result of rising interest rates.

    This will cause many Spanish home owners to abandon their mortgaged properties, resulting in even more properties entering the property market which will only depress house prices even further. The housing market in Spain is facing total carnage.

  • #111385
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Spain is fast becoming a Third World country despite all the investment in high-speed rail and various road building programs. . .This will cause many Spanish home owners to abandon their mortgaged properties, resulting in even more properties entering the property market which will only depress house prices even further. The housing market in Spain is facing total carnage.

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling! –Henny Penny

    As for the original post, “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” –Thomas Wolfe

  • #111390
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    katy
    Spectator

    Many Spaniards say that Spain is a third world country in disguise.

  • #111393
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Yeah and the Uk is a third world country, and the US as well, blah, blah, blah Heard it all before. Spain is a first world country with the 12th largest economy in the world. Like any first world country (I hate that term) it has problems, especially now, but that doesn’t suddenly turn Spain into the European equivalent of Somalia

  • #111394
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    The article’s title is a little misleading. The author isn’t harking back to the Spain of his youth, he’s wishing it had changed in a different way. The second part concludes thus:

    Instead, the road is tedious and well-known. It starts with education, research and the fostering of entrepreneurs. The Spaniards can do all of this. They are a great people, my people, but the crisis has shown them where they stand: at the edge of Europe, not at its center. The real estate boom, cheap money and euphoria have seduced them — not because they are bad or lazy, but because they’re people.

    So, he’s optimistic about Spain, but recognises a new approach is needed. The article doesn’t provide a sound foundation for the “all is lost” posts, but nor is it pointlessly nostalgic for the past in way Wolfe was criticising.

    Like others I thought this was one of the best articles on the topic I’d read and thank Mark for posting it.

  • #111396
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I liked the comments to the article (if anyone read them)…

    “Ah yes those halcyon days of Fascisto Supremo General Franco, when all you could breathe was passive smoke all your way down the clogged non-duelled roads at 35mph between Germany and Spain for days on end, assuming the military police didn’t take you away in the night for routine torturing that is. Yes, we all drove in golden chariots with jewelled tables groaning with feasts and our wallets were always bursting with money in those perfectly remembered, nostalgic days… How we all miss them.!

  • #111397
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @jp1 wrote:

    I liked the comments to the article (if anyone read them)…

    “Ah yes those halcyon days of Fascisto Supremo General Franco, when all you could breathe was passive smoke all your way down the clogged non-duelled roads at 35mph between Germany and Spain for days on end, assuming the military police didn’t take you away in the night for routine torturing that is. Yes, we all drove in golden chariots with jewelled tables groaning with feasts and our wallets were always bursting with money in those perfectly remembered, nostalgic days… How we all miss them.!

    A child doesn’t notice these things, and besides, the whole point of the article is that he was fond of the austere ( 😉 ) and innocent beauty of Spain back then. No mention of people being rich back then. Also he’s talking about memories “going back more than 25 years” so I doubt that he’s referring to Franco’s time (over 37 years ago).

  • #111399
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    People talk about 3rd World countries and Civilised modern countries which I assume is 1st World although we don’t hear that term, only 3rd World.

    With that in mind, can anyone tell me where the missing 2nd World countries are? 😛 I’ve yet to meet someone who knows where they are or where they went 🙄

  • #111400
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I recognise the Spain of thirty years ago. I started in business there then. It was incredibly backward but totally charming and a wonderful place to live, opportunity lay everywhere.

    Most Spanish I knew then had absolutely no ambition to improve anything. Franco had beaten that from them. They had that acceptance of fate you often see in Arab countries.

    Starting in the property business was easy, cheap spectacular coastal land lay fallow everywhere, generations of goat farmers could see no value in it. They were very happy to receive anything, shamefully a few hundred peseta’s in some cases. Convincing the local people there was a point to it was very difficult, planning permission was a nod and a wink from the local mayor.

    Slowly things began to change with incoming foreign investment, particularly from Germany.

    Younger better educated Spanish then saw foreigners becoming wealthy from developing their land and wanted a piece of the action.

    Spain entered the EU, cheap credit arrived and the rest is history. All that’s happened during those thirty years is rags to riches and back to rags again.

    Rajoy needs to drastically reform the law, write off peoples debts, regulate the banks and the political system so it can never happen again. Unless they do that the current younger generation of Spanish with an education, energy and drive will never lift themselves off the floor.

    Spain’s in danger of reverting back to those post Franco years and will take as long again to recover.

  • #111401
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    People talk about 3rd World countries and Civilised modern countries which I assume is 1st World although we don’t hear that term, only 3rd World.

    With that in mind, can anyone tell me where the missing 2nd World countries are? 😛 I’ve yet to meet someone who knows where they are or where they went 🙄

    I think it used to be certain South American countries like Colombia, certain Asian countries like Thailand and the old Eastern block European countries such as Romania that were classed as 2nd world. Although things can change very rapidly (look at Brazil and Malaysia for example). I find the terminology (and the way it is often used) has certain elitist undertones, and can also be patronising and presumptious (criticising country A for being like country B). I think these days people refer to the “developing world” instead.

  • #111402
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    I recognise the Spain of thirty years ago. I started in business there then. It was incredibly backward but totally charming and a wonderful place to live, opportunity lay everywhere.

    Most Spanish I knew then had absolutely no ambition to improve anything. Franco had beaten that from them. They had that acceptance of fate you often see in Arab countries.

    Starting in the property business was easy, cheap spectacular coastal land lay fallow everywhere, generations of goat farmers could see no value in it. They were very happy to receive anything, shamefully a few hundred peseta’s in some cases. Convincing the local people there was a point to it was very difficult, planning permission was a nod and a wink from the local mayor.

    Similar things went on in places like Bulgaria during the 90s. I knew someone who went around buying up prime land from Bulgarian peasants who really had no idea what the land was worth and hadn’t got a clue what to do with the money they received for it (he said many spent it all within a month)

    @logan wrote:

    Slowly things began to change with incoming foreign investment, particularly from Germany.

    Younger better educated Spanish then saw foreigners becoming wealthy from developing their land and wanted a piece of the action.

    Spain entered the EU, cheap credit arrived and the rest is history. All that’s happened during those thirty years is rags to riches and back to rags again.

    Rajoy needs to drastically reform the law, write off peoples debts, regulate the banks and the political system so it can never happen again. Unless they do that the current younger generation of Spanish with an education, energy and drive will never lift themselves off the floor.

    Spain’s in danger of reverting back to those post Franco years and will take as long again to recover.

    I would say that Rajoy should write off at least half the debts of young Spanish people who bought between 2002 and 2010. People who bought before then would have bought cheaply and had at least 10 years to pay down their debts anyway. If they’ve got into trouble then they’ve really only got themselves to blame.

    However Rajoy isn’t in a position to write off any debt right now so it’s a bit of a mute point.

  • #111403
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    angie
    Spectator

    Chopera, I agree that there is a certain amount of elitism about the grading of the ‘worlds’, however it’s always been a source of bewilderment even humour as to ‘where are the 2nd world countries’. I think 3rd world has since become ‘developing world’ as PC or Politically Correct.

    Some comedians used to say is the 2nd world in Outer Space, just one of those weird things in English Language 🙄

  • #111415
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The law needs to change urgently. If a bank repossess a property that should be it. The possibility the debtor can or will pay in this life is zero anyway. Banks are going to be recapitalised from the EU bailout cash, that fund should contribute to giving Spaniards their life back.
    The banks took the risk in lending in the first place they should take the hit. In a normal country that’s how it works, why should Spain be any different?

  • #111418
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Agreed Logan. If Spanish banks get EU money then they should use it to repair some of the damage they’ve done rather than bail out their friends the developers.

    Let’s just hope they are forced to do it and that they include those with guarantors as we seem to be the ones the bully banks are least willing to let their grip of.

  • #111420
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I believe the last time they (the socialists) tried to change this unjust law it was blocked by the PP, so I don’t hold out much hope. The EU if it means anything at all should make it a precondition to the €100bn they are about to shell out in Spain’s direction.

    The lack of a personal bankruptcy protection law is a legacy of Fascism and has no place whatever in a modern EU state.

  • #111421
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Crikey, twice in one thread – probably a record for me. I think you’ll find it used to be Old World/New World – the latter being the quaint European view of the US and other upstart nations. It’s a bit like after Private Sector and Public Sector, a word was needed for voluntary/charity etc so it became the Third Sector. Third World was just added as way of describing everything else that wasn’t Old or New and there wasn’t originally a connotation of inferiority. Now that there is, Developing World is probably better, though that will soon beg all sorts of questions about what constitutes development and when you reach developed status.

  • #111423
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with you Logan on the personal bankruptsy part. One should note though that it would mean that the lenders would be much more cautious with who they lend to. Indirectly bubbles would not blow up so quickly.

  • #111424
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Ardun wrote:

    One should note though that it would mean that the lenders would be much more cautious with who they lend to. Indirectly bubbles would not blow up so quickly.

    ……and that Ardun can be nothing but a positive development for Spain’s future. If the Spanish are serious about being integrated into the ‘democratic nations of Europe’, reform is essential and this must be close to the top of a very long list.

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